New rules drafted for replacing Rothesay windows

New rules on the replacement of windows in properties in Rothesay's outstanding conservation area have been partly driven by high-profile cases such as the Bute House Hotel, where owner Harry Greene attempted to install uPVC windows without planning permission in the spring of 2014.
New rules on the replacement of windows in properties in Rothesay's outstanding conservation area have been partly driven by high-profile cases such as the Bute House Hotel, where owner Harry Greene attempted to install uPVC windows without planning permission in the spring of 2014.

A new set of rules has been drawn up which would allow the installation of uPVC windows in buildings in Rothesay’s conservation area - but only in certain circumstances.

A Rothesay Windows Technical Working Note has been prepared by Argyll and Bute Council which would relax - to an extent - the strict rules governing ‘like for like’ window replacement in prominent buildings in the town.

Local councillors are to be asked for their views this week on the new guidance - which, if approved, will replace the outdated Rothesay Window Policy Statement, which dates from 1995 and has come in for much criticism in recent years.

A report prepared for the council’s Bute and Cowal area committee, which meets in Rothesay on Tuesday, states: “There have been a number of unauthorised window replacements in Rothesay over the past few years along with some high profile applications and enforcement cases.

“This new Technical Working Note is an update of previous guidance that was adopted in 1995 and seeks to foster a proportionate and pragmatic approach to window replacement. It adds a finer grain of detail regarding the development pressures in Rothesay as well as the scale of the Conservation Area and level of public sector investment that has recently been committed to the historic environment.

“It aims to give flexibility to customers / building owners whose buildings do not significantly contribute to the overall character of the Conservation Area.

“This includes an allowance for good quality uPVC windows to be installed in certain circumstances.

“However, for our most important listed buildings and prime townscape blocks we seek to retain the policies and principals as set out in national policy and our Development Plan which is to uphold the historical and traditional window characteristics – mainly by repairing or replacing with white timber sliding sash

and case units.”

After this Tuesday’s meeting the new guidance will then be considered by the council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee later in December.